In earthquake-prone areas such as the San Francisco and Oakland, existing structures built before the new building code was introduced are susceptible to damage if an earthquake occurs.
Past earthquakes revealed how vulnerable existing structures are which did not satisfy modern seismic design requirements and current engineering standards.
Although they were built and designed according to earlier codes, the earlier codes were developed before modern earthquake engineering technologies evolved and advanced into what we have today.
According to the Association of Bay Area Governments, over 10,000 soft-story buildings are at risk of collapse if a major earthquake is experienced in the near future
What is a Soft Story?
A soft-story building is any multi-story building in which one or more floors have large windows, wide doors, large unobstructed storefronts, and other openings in places where a shear wall would normally be required for the stability of the building.
The lower floor is considered weak because it is missing adequate structural members to support the upper floors during violent shaking, especially when an earthquake or a tornado hits.
The wall openings make the building soft and weak at the ground level relative to the stories above. When an earthquake occurs, the building gets moved sideways with the movement more concentrated on the soft story. This makes it more vulnerable to collapse.
What is Soft Story Retrofit?
To make the soft story strong enough to resist collapse, the vulnerable aspects of the building are identified and strengthened.
Therefore, soft story retrofitting is the reinforcement and modification of an existing structure against anticipated seismic activity which may lead to a collapse. The weak/soft story is of the existing structure being modified and rehabilitated to make it more resistant to earthquakes and soil failure that may come as a result.
The main goal of this rehabilitation is to make sure that the building will stand after an earthquake hits the area. Also, to guarantee the safety of the occupants of the building, and its neighbors.
Does My Building Need a Retrofit?
If you live in a seismic zone (that is, an area prone to earthquakes), it is advisable to conduct preliminary surveys to establish whether your home needs to be retrofitted or not. Also, before going to the greater depths of the survey, we have compiled a guide to help you establish whether your building needs retrofitting.
Therefore, if your building falls into the following categories, it may need retrofitting:
If you are not familiar with earthquakes and tremors, then it is safe to assume that you have no idea what we are talking about. If like most of us however you know exactly what it means, we would like you to take a few moments to take a look at our soft-story retrofit solution. It has everything you want and so much more. When you are done having a look, to take the next step all you have to do is give us a call and our experts will crack on immediately to make sure all your needs have been met.
What Is It
We are not going to try and sound clever. Rather we are going to give you a simple explanation that details the facts. Now a soft-story retrofit was simply designed to reinforce the structure of your building so that it will provide more support when it needs it. The main goal is to make sure it remains standing no matter what is thrown at it, whilst at the same time keeping everyone inside safe. Now that you know what it is, if you would like to find out a bit more, just give Leet Construction a call or email.
Let's talk dollars and pennies because we know at the end of the day that is what counts. Now retrofitting is a must in some homes and there is simply nothing you can do about it. It's the law. Now, this does not mean that you deserve to be taken advantage of, and we guarantee that when you give us a call, not only will you get the best of the best, but you will get real value for your money. The talk however is extremely cheap, so we challenge you to put us to the test today, you might just be surprised at what we have to offer.
We know you do not want to hear it, and believe us when we say that we do not want to talk about it, but sometimes in life, one has to do things they do not want to. In this case, it is making sure that your home has the right soft-story retrofitting. It needs to not only be code compliant but in areas with known seismic activity, it needs to stand up to higher levels of scrutiny. Fortunately, this is what we do, and to make sure that you are on the right side of the law, just give us a call.
Any sort of building and construction work needs to be done by trained experts with years of experience. Now, this is how it should be, but unfortunately in our industry, many people are trying to convince you that they are something which they are not. This usually ends up with a failed project, an unhappy client, and a stain on the industry. So rather than allowing yourself to fall into this trap, we would suggest you give us a call and we will be more than happy to share all out qualifications and expertise with you.
We recommend that you take a look at your building and establish whether it falls into the categories we had earlier identified.
To make it easier for you, we have a team of engineers and designers who will undertake preliminary surveys and structural analysis to establish the structural soundness of your structure.
If we establish that your building does not meet the earthquake requirements, we will advise on the retrofitting process, including telling you how much the process will cost and guiding you through obtaining construction approvals from the local authorities to the completion of the work.
Let’s get started on your project today.